Police Identify Nonagenarian Killed In Magna House Fire

Dec 16, 2019, 5:24 AM | Updated: 1:58 pm

MAGNA, Utah – One person is dead after a Monday morning fire in Magna, authorities said.

According to the Unified Police Department, a call came in of a fire near 3300 South and Broadway shortly after 4 a.m.

A UPD officer arrived at the scene first. He went into the home to rescue an elderly man who was in a wheelchair approximately 10 feet inside the residence. Unfortunately, the resident died of his injuries.

The victim has been identified as Willis Shepherd, 96, of Magna.

Unified Fire Authority crews arrived as the officer was pulling Shepherd from the home.

“We arrived to see an officer with UPD pulling a victim out of the front door in Magna,” said UFA’s Ryan Love.

Two other people escaped the fire. Both of them suffered smoke inhalation and were transported to the hospital.

The fire itself was not much of challenge to knock down, officials said. However, it was nonetheless difficult due to the life that was lost.

“The fire was contained to one room,” Love said. “It was a simple fire to put out, but unfortunately even simple fires can cause quite a bit of damage and sometimes can be fatal.”

It’s estimated the fire caused $50,000 in damages. A structural engineer will determine if it’s structurally safe, but as of now the residents are unable to return.

The Red Cross is assisting the displaced residents in the meantime.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Love said officials couldn’t confirm if the house had smoke detectors or not, but he said this is a good reminder for residents to check their detectors and ensure they are working properly. He added smoke detectors should be checked every six months.

Authorities to more winter fires, he said, and approximately 80% of them are cooking related.

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Police Identify Nonagenarian Killed In Magna House Fire